Announcement Let's Talk About Clones

Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,221
2,674
J-hackcompany.com
@Thehack , but your posts were not deleted. Because it is civil. Unlike the other ones. And the mods' reply doesn't sound like it is being targeted to you.

But nevermind that, just like @bledha said, we need to move forward with the issue at hand and stop discussing what happened in Steck thread.

Like you summed up most suitably, we (or rather the mods as this forum's representative) are at no.2. Now it'd have been fine if we leave at that, at least to me, but now that some more respectable members of the forum have stepped and voiced up, I think they need to rethink this.

Maybe the stance should be somewhere in between 2 and 3. A mod edited disclaimer on the top of the post or something. After a community discussion. It maybe too complicated - idk, maybe anyone have another suggestion?

Also in regards to this forum being a guild, I can't agree with. An artists' guild means that everyone in it is an artist, while not so here. Hell, that means I do not deserve to be a member in the first place.
The purpose of a guild is to enhance the craft.

I made a comparison of this to a guild is because a lot of the best innovation in sff enclosure actually come from this forum. Let me list some:

KMPKT power solutions
DSE breathe
Cerberus
STX 160
HDPlex 400W AC-DC
G-Unique exposure to Western audience
Lazer3D
Ghost S1
Mach One

The Dan also does his project here as well. Josh contributes an unhealthy amount. The community has significant influence on the furthering of sff.

And a lot of it is thanks to various members and their feedback and contributions. And for everyone creator here you guys who use it and provide feedback are very welcome and important members.

It is definitely not a guild, but I can't help but draw some similarities.
 
Last edited:

jØrd

SCSI for life
Digital Seppuku
Moderator
LOSIAS
Gold Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
804
1,295
@Thehack as i have said earlier in this thread, our first responses to this situation were exactly that, our first responses. this situation evolved extremely quickly and we have made our best efforts to evolve how we respond to it as well. Whats more earlier in that thread, in the post that @confusis references i specifically made mention of putting the conversation into its own thread as a way to continue the debate w/out taking someones project thread and changing the focus of that thread as well as suggest some actions people can take if they feel their voices are not being heard. As i have also said earlier in this thread, the current policy is there to protect everyone's ability to hold discussion, this is, after all, a discussion forum. Sometimes this means people who we may perceive as guilty are protected but it also protects you. When someone walks into one of your threads and starts demanding you change your work and calling you a copycat. Regardless of weather their claims have merit or not they will also be expected to stop derailing your project log and put it in its own thread. I will also take the opportunity to note that SFFn's response to this was the source of outrage that we were not policing who can post and what they can say but that we were allowing, even some would say promoting, open discourse around the topic whilst at the same time we are censoring people from even having the conversation because we ask that they keep it civil and start their own thread around the topic.
 

Walderstorn

Average Stuffer
Apr 29, 2018
67
26
I am a fairly new member but i must say that i'm terrible disappointed with the mods stance on this. My communication here has been more PM based and reading this thread (and the previous one) will continue to be so because i don't share this type of values. For me cloning is unethical and pretty much shows a big lack of moral values, independent of what twists you want to use to make it seem less so.

As a new member of this small community that i felt that share the same interests (and that hasn't change), with the mods replies i don't really feel it's my place to be and, while i will still come from time to time, my visits will became much shorter and definitely not as common.

Peace
 

Flyingpepper

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jan 8, 2018
107
191
Dave comes in and says, look at my super-new-SFF case. It is totally *not* like that other super-SFF case. Everyone says, no Dave, it looks like you copied Bob's design. Dave says, "no way, my design is different, I use screws here, instead of screws there." Yet most guild members have the consesus that he definitely copied Bob's design. Dave acts indifferent, and uses the resources and knowledge pool of the guild while having no regard for being respectful other's design and ideas and only cares about the bottom line. He's here to make money off of the people at the downtown market. He is definitely playing off of Bob's misfortune, and undercutting him in pricing, though a slightly lower quality product.
This is exactly what bothers me the most. The fact that someone can sit back and watch while an actual designer works their ass off on their product for months, then swoop in with a few factually minimal differences, and sell it on the same exact site is absurd.

Said person can even directly call out the original product multiple times and use photos of the original design to work on their copy.
 

Bangle

Cable-Tie Ninja
Apr 12, 2018
147
112
Yes, the focus of the thread was objectively derailed for a short time due to multiple reasons. You were civil indeed, but yes, quite incessantly stated it was a clone, or simply a copy. You know, when things get my ire up, I tend to do the same. So I understand.

All things considered, it seems that as users and the moderators could be suffering from the same frustration about this clone stuff. It irritates some users and so they speak up, and the moderators feel they have no choice but to have to deal with that, also likely lamenting the reasons why.

Maybe it is time we all just move toward each other. The mods can allow us a little room to lament (in a civil way of course, kind of like we are doing here), and we can tone it down when we do. If we all keep that in mind, maybe we can reach an amicable equilibrium :)

Group therapy is now in session.
What is the focus of the thread if not to discuss design? so how can it be hi-jacked if a debate about design is taking place.
 
  • Like
Reactions: whatanoob

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
573
507
Curious question at @Flyingpepper
(Edit: or anyone else of course)

Almost all the complaints here have focused on guys in the custom case thread. Moving the focus a little bit, what about discussion on clones that don’t have a “builders” presence here?
(In this example I’m not directly accusing this company, but think they are a fair example of my question)

Say someone brings up some questions about building in the kolink rocket ( https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.overclockers.co.uk/kolink-rocket-aluminium-mini-itx-case-titanium-grey-ca-035-kk.html?template=amp ).

Should we ignore them or shut down their thread because it is a clone? And if the answer is different compared to someone here, can you give your opinion on how to handle that situation.
 
Last edited:

Bangle

Cable-Tie Ninja
Apr 12, 2018
147
112
This is exactly what bothers me the most. The fact that someone can sit back and watch while an actual designer works their ass off on their product for months, then swoop in with a few factually minimal differences, and sell it on the same exact site is absurd.

Said person can even directly call out the original product multiple times and use photos of the original design to work on their copy.
The ultimate problem is that people will stop sharing ideas (it will happen slowly) if Dave is always allowed to lurk in the background. The lack of idea sharing will defeat the point of having the forum in the first place.

Dave is basically giving the two-fingered gesture to the guild members and masters, but we are too scared to say anything because it will hurt Dave's feelings.

Dave's been busy.

https://hardforum.com/threads/status-update-2018-06-16-eg-model-one-8l-sff-itx-pc-case.1961935/

Even going as far of replicating the icon image on the pcie cable.


--
Mod edit: Merged posts
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bangle

Cable-Tie Ninja
Apr 12, 2018
147
112
Curious question at @Flyingpepper
(Edit: or anyone else of course)

1. Almost all the complaints here have focused on guys in the custom case thread. Moving the focus a little bit, what about discussion on clones that don’t have a “builders” presence here?
(In this example I’m not directly accusing this company, but think they are a fair example of my question)

2. Say someone brings up some questions about building in the kolink rocket ( https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.overclockers.co.uk/kolink-rocket-aluminium-mini-itx-case-titanium-grey-ca-035-kk.html?template=amp ).

3. Should we ignore them or shut down their thread because it is a clone? And if the answer is different compared to someone here, can you give your opinion on how to handle that situation.
Sorry, I've added the numbers 1, 2 and 3 to your comment for ease of reference to my views below.

1. The focus on one guys thread is because its an easy example, and to be honest probably lead to the creation of this thread itself. It would be good to have a builders perspective on controversial 'designs' but it would turn into a personal attack on them.

2. No problem with a SFF forum member bring up a case such as this, because they are not the proposer of the 'design' nor are they intending to commercially sell it - Kolink are the vendors, not the forum member posting the link. The member will probably be asking if its a rip-off etc.

3. Again point 2 above, the Kolink example is not the best is they are not the proposed vendor. If the SFF forum member bring up the link is Kolink, then.... In either case there should be open dialogue. In any event, if any member said its a clone, copy, replica etc. shouldn't the response be '....We have told you on no uncertain terms that if you have a concern with a product, take it up with the IP holder...' this is what mods are basically saying.

Anyway, i don't know why the mods appear to be hung up on the word 'clone'. The words copy-cat, copy, imitation, rip-off, replica could easily replace clone, and the response to using any of these words might be '...take your concerns to the IP holder'.

Are you really stalking this guy thru multiple forums???
nope, I found my email warning from the mods from August. I was banned for 24hr for reacting to a mod edit and warning - all for using the term clone. Noticed that the case vendor changed the name of the thread on SFF Forum, so i google the original thread name, one of the first results. Funny, even people on that forum call him out. I wonder that the mods said to does comments?

I'm not even on hardforum.

Mod edit: Post merged.
 
Last edited:

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
573
507
Thank you for articulating a good post. So am I fair in my reasoning that if that guy wasn’t a member here, that you wouldn’t have a problem with discussion on his case?
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,295
5,593
sff.network
Let's be clear, @Bangle, the level of warning that you received was in return for the continued goading and nagging at admins due to your initial ban. You seem to be happy to continue calling out site staff for everything you see as unfair. I'm not sure what your end goal is.

My 2c in this conversation:

All of the site staff here are doing this as a side project. We don't do this for a living, we don't have countless hours every week to arbitrate on copyright issues (we aren't trained on this either), we have day jobs and families. We aren't all versed in the various laws in various nations on various topics - it's just not possible. We are also human, and make mistakes. Our decision to not arbitrate on any of the copycat issues is based entirely on that - we just can't be fair and reasonable on every situation.

The current "target" of the conversation may be similar, yes, but it's not up to us to police this, it's up to you, the potential buyer. As always, buyer beware.

Also, keep in mind that SFFn in no way sells any of these products, or gets any profits from the sales of such. We aren't a retailer, auction site or similar.

Edit: To clarify my side project statement - personally, I have around 10 hours a week to spend on SFFn, outside of a physically demanding full time day job, and being the solo parent of two amazing kids. This 10 hours is split between admin work, writing content and forum interactions, moderation and posting. The more I focus on forum stuff, the less content gets written, and vice versa.
 
Last edited:

Necere

SFF Guru
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,346
2,627
we don't have countless hours every week to arbitrate on copyright issues (we aren't trained on this either), we have day jobs and families. We aren't all versed in the various laws in various nations on various topics - it's just not possible. We are also human, and make mistakes. Our decision to not arbitrate on any of the copycat issues is based entirely on that - we just can't be fair and reasonable on every situation.
To be fair though, no one's really expecting that. This is a privately owned forum, so it's entirely up to the owners' discretion to ban or moderate anyone they see fit, for whatever reason they want. Now, obviously that might not go over well with some of the forum members, so ultimately it might not be in anyone's best interest if the owner/moderators are perceived as raging authoritarians, but my point is the only justification that might be needed here is not a legal one, but one that appeals to the ethical sensibilities of the majority of the forum membership.
 

jØrd

SCSI for life
Digital Seppuku
Moderator
LOSIAS
Gold Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
804
1,295
No matter what we do its going to piss off at least half the forum. So far SFFn has been called out for not moderating / censoring / whatevering the conversation hard enough and for moderating / censoring / whatevering the conversation too hard from different sides of the debate.
 

Walderstorn

Average Stuffer
Apr 29, 2018
67
26
Would 50% of people really be upset if clone talk wasn't allowed? I would believe just the one person that would make that specific thread and a a few others. Maybe I am wrong but I would like to believe the majority thinks this is morally wrong.
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
May 23, 2016
796
777
Would 50% of people really be upset if clone talk wasn't allowed? I would believe just the one person that would make that specific thread and a a few others. Maybe I am wrong but I would like to believe the majority thinks this is morally wrong.
What do you propose the mods do then? How do we define copycat?
 

Necere

SFF Guru
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,346
2,627
Defining what is and is not a "clone" is really the big question, and it's understandable why Joshua and the mods wouldn't want to wade into that mire. I've come down on the side of "clone talk is okay, so long as criticism is," but I base that opinion on what I've seen so far of what people have called clones/copycats etc., which are actually not that close. Cases like the Kolink Rocket and ZS-A4 are obviously heavily derived from the A4, but they're also different enough that you would never mistake one for the other. Same with the Cougar QBX, which has a bit of a reputation as "the poor man's M1." These aren't really clones in a strict sense, IMO, and should be perfectly okay to talk about (I've even suggested the QBX to people looking for a cheaper M1 alternative).

Where it does get murkier is when a case is obviously trying to mimic another existing design - both in layout and looks - to the point where you could fairly easily mistake one for the other. While we have yet to see what the finished product looks like, that may well be the case with the Nouvolo Steck. It's obvious macbosco is not just taking inspiration from, but directly copying most of the elements of the Ghost S1, and that's not something you need a background in patent/copyright law to see.

Let me suggest another angle to look at this from, besides the legal one: respect. Is it disrespectful to outright copy someone's else's design without their permission with the intention of profiting from it? I would argue that most people would agree that it is. That being the case, and it falling within the purview of the moderators to censor disrespectful posts, perhaps this is an angle to approach it from that sidesteps any questions of legality, or even morality/ethics.

Just a thought.
 

Necere

SFF Guru
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,346
2,627
And as an addendum: the question of respect, in the context of forum moderation, only really makes sense if it involves active members of the forum. If a guy showed up tomorrow hawking his MCASE N1 or Davecase B4 that's 99% identical to the M1/A4, you can be 100% sure I'd support banning them. But if someone comes in with a clone of some Corsair case, well, I'd let Corsair's legal team worry about that. But we for sure shouldn't let some of the most valuable members of the community be abused like that.

Whether that applies to the Steck/Ghost situation, I can't say. Patrik hasn't seen fit to be active here in a long time, so it's hard to call him a member of the community at this point. That's a judgment call though.